Knowledge Bowl takes fifth at state | Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools
April 15, 2024

Knowledge Bowl takes fifth at state

Bison have strong showing against 17 teams in large school tier

After two days of intense State Knowledge Bowl Meet competition, Buffalo High School came away with a fifth-place finish out of 17 teams in the AAA big school division last week.

“It was a fantastic experience for all involved,” said BHS Knowledge Bowl Coach Brandon Aldrich. “I'm so glad this team was able to experience state, and since they are all juniors, I really hope they are able to come back next year to compete at state.” 

Bison team members Kumail Akram, Daniel Jungwirth, Eric Bajema, Lucas Lawrence and Dexter Huss (from left in the photo above) capped an outstanding year in which they consistently led a strong BHS program in various competitions. Their final event played out Thursday and Friday, April 11-12, at Cragun’s Conference Center in Brainerd.

An unstoppable Edina team took first place at state with 151.5 points, which Aldrich said may have been a record-setting day. Sartell took second with 120 points, and places 3-5 were nearly even with Northfield (114.5), Holy Family (113.5) and Buffalo (111) separated by only 3.5 points.

Round by round
The written round took place Thursday evening, and Edina quickly cemented its front-runner status by scoring on 55 out of 60 questions. The Bison scored 47 in the written round, which placed them in Room 3 along with Duluth East and Chaska in the first oral round on Friday.

In that first round Duluth East scored 10 points, Chaska had 8 and Buffalo notched 7. That moved Buffalo and Chaska into Room 2 with Sartell for the second round. Aldrich noted that Buffalo had been competitive with Sartell during the regular season, and was well matched against Chaska at state.

The second round started out close between Buffalo and Sartell, but Sartell eventually gained some separation to win 17 to 13, while Chaska scored 9.

“This kept Buffalo in a good place so they could stay in Room 2 and not have to move up to Room 1 quite yet in the competition, where Edina was dominating throughout the day,” said Aldrich.

The Bison caught fire in the third round against Prior Lake and Moorhead, earning 15 points to 7 for Moorhead and 6 for Prior Lake.

“Buffalo was really firing on all cylinders during this round,” said Aldrich. “They were a tough team to beat.”

The reward for that showing was an advancement to Room 1 for the fourth round, where Edina continued its run of dominance against the Bison and Holy Family, outscoring them 20 to 9 for Buffalo and 6 for Holy Family. Aldrich called Edina’s performance “staggering.”

“It’s good to be in Room 1 at least once during the competition to see what the cutthroat room is like, but it can also be a daunting task that saps you of (points) moving forward,” said Aldrich.

In the final round Buffalo dropped back to Room 2 and had a solid chance to finish in second, third or fourth place, but the Bison ultimately collected 9 points, behind both Holy Family (15) and Chaska (10), to finish in fifth place overall.

“It just wasn’t in the cards for Buffalo this round,” said Aldrich. “The questions were not quite ‘Buffalo’ questions, meaning the questions weren’t quite the strength of this team. But they were having fun, being good to each other, and representing Buffalo High School in the best possible way.”

The state appearance continued a strong tradition of Knowledge Bowl achievement at Buffalo High School, which captured the state title in 2022 and second place last year.

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